Round Five of the 2017/18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will be taking place this Saturday at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City.
The circuit configuration used in Formula E varies to the one used in Formula 1 and uses the oval configuration as its base, with the two chicanes being separated by an alternative route through the stadium section.
Last year’s contest saw Lucas Di Grassi claim victory for the Audi Sport Abt team en route to his first Formula E title.
The Brazilian will be one of the drivers to watch this weekend, having also initially won the inaugural race in 2016 before he was disqualified for an underweight car.
However, a series of reliability issues this season has resulted in Di Grassi to languish towards the tail end of the standings without any points on the board.
Consequently, Di Grassi’s title chances look bleak, something which he admitted to:
“The title is not in my mind at the moment; In my mind is ‘try and fix the car’, to get a car that finishes one race, so that I can fight for wins.”
“Even if we manage to score points now, if the car isn’t reliable in the next races the title is impossible to fight for.”
“The first thing we need to do is sort out this issue.”
“That’s down to the team and engineers to sort this out as quick as possible.”
In the build-up to this year’s race, Carmen Jordà announced that she would be participating in the post Mexico ePrix test for Mahindra Racing.
Although an official statement has yet to be made by the team, the Spaniard broke the news via her Instagram page and posted a video of her driving in the team’s simulator.
Since this declaration was made, it has been rumoured that Jordà was as much as six seconds slower than Mahindra’s reserve driver Dani Juncadella in the simulator.
Some have criticised the move as a PR stunt, due to Jordà’s lack of success in the junior categories.
Jordà also received similar responses from her fellow female competitors in 2017 when she joined the FIA Women’s Committee.
Staying with Mahindra and Team Principal Dilbagh Gill has expressed his confidence in their ability to challenge for the championship.
In an interview with Just Electric, Gill stated how good of an opportunity they have.
“We would love to [fight for the title]! We have the opportunity with a driver like Felix [Rosenqvist] and I think we will push as much as possible but this year, I think, one way it might be a bit helpful or one way a bit challenging as there’s a lot more people who can win this year.”
Gill also recognised just how close the teams have been so far in Season 4.
“There are at least six teams who are very strong, I would say, who can win any day.”
“If you look at the times of the races, it’s very close.”
“I think Audi has a very strong car. When they get everything together, their day is going to come.”
Last time out in Santiago, Techeetah’s historic one-two finish saw Jean-Éric Vergne claim his first win of the season ahead of team-mate André Lotterer and subsequently took the lead of the Drivers’ Championship on 71 points.
Felix Rosenqvist’s fourth place finish for Mahindra wasn’t enough to prevent the Swede dropping to second in the standing on 66 points, with DS Virgin’s Sam Bird close behind in third on 61 points.
Bird’s team-mate and fellow Briton Alex Lynn will start the weekend at a disadvantage as he has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on one of his cars, having already used his joker change in Marrakesh.
Lynn was in sixth position after the mandatory car change and was on course for his best finish of the season when he experienced the failure.
Bird himself suffered similar problems earlier in the season in Hong Kong and Marrakesh but made the finish on both occasions.
The problems endured by both drivers are believed to be linked, with their team manager Leon Price describing the cause of Lynn’s retirement as an “production deviation on a gearbox accessory.”
As always, the two practice sessions will be streamed live this Saturday on YouTube on the Official ABB FIA Formula E channel, with Practice 1 starting at 1:55pm and Practice 2 at 4:25pm.
Once again, the qualifying session will be broadcasted live on 5Spike, with coverage kicking off at 5:45pm ahead of the 6pm start.
The Mexico ePrix will also be shown live on the same channel at 10pm, with the build-up starting at 9:30pm.
If you are unable to watch the race live, there is no need to worry as Channel 5 will be showing the race highlights for the first time on the following Sunday at 10:45am.*
*All times shown are in GMT and are subject to change.